Those new to family history research often get ahead of themselves, seeking to jump right in and gather information on an ancestor of interest several generations back -- maybe to solve the family mystery or prove a relationship. What the novice researcher may not realize is that genealogy works from the present to the past, starting with the individual researcher. YOU are No. 1 on your own pedigree chart. Or, if you are trying to help someone else, placing that person in the No. 1 spot. The process is so much easier when you begin with yourself and work back, starting with what you know and, as you go along, researching and filling in what you don't know. The clues build upon themselves, generation by generation. In the article, "Genealogy Fundamentals," Donnie Boursaw discusses this and other fundamental elements for those just getting started on their family history.